Environmental Society answers recycling questions

To the Editor:

The North Columbia Environmental Society helped out at the recent CSRD Hazardous Waste Recycle Fair at our public works yard, and I noticed three repeatedly asked questions. For clarification the NCES researched the answers and would like to share them with you, the incredible recyclers of Revelstoke.

#1 Question- Why isn’t there enough room in our bins? They are often overflowing. The CSRD under-projected how well we Revelstokians would be diverting waste from our landfill. The level of recycling here has been outstanding and has caught the contractor- Emterra, and the CSRD by surprise. CSRD Waste Management Coordinator Darcy Mooney thought the initially high levels of recycling were because people had been hoarding recyclables for months, and levels would quickly decrease.  It turns out this high level has stayed elevated and the CSRD has contacted Emterra to place more bins and take them away more often.  It isn’t as easy as simply putting a new bin, it means more trips all the way to the processing plant in Surrey, which leads us to question number two.

#2 Question- Are all these recyclables really being diverted from landfill? Quite a few folks had trouble believing that the unsorted tin, glass, and plastic that they put into one bin are really being recycled.  Watch this very informative video link, it shows a recycling plant in Italy, similar to the one in Surrey.  It details how the three materials are mechanically separated.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF53wdmccnE&feature=related

# 3 Question– What plastics can be recycled? Currently the program only accepts plastics #1, 2, 4, & 5.  Plastics bags, #6 and #7 plastics aren’t accepted at this time due to their low market value.  Residents are encouraged to switch to reusable plastic bags and leave unrecyclable plastics # 6and #7, on the store shelves.

One last point of interest, the Revelstoke Bottle Depot is now accepting electronic waste during business hours!  Keep on recycling Revelstoke, and let’s give the CSRD a bit longer to get a handle on what normal levels of recycling look like for our community.


Sarah Newton,
on behalf of the North Columbia Environmental Society